This is just insane! Resident talks about Danzig shooting
KJ Mullins-Toronto: Torontorian Robert Cairns said today that his neighbourhood is probably the safest one in the city today but that wasn’t the case Monday night when bullets were flying. Cairns lives near the Danzig address where 26 people were shot.
Today Robert reflected on his feelings about the shooting, the police and crime in his area of Toronto during a phone interview including how the Code of Silence has to be broken.
Robert said that the shooting took place in a mixed neighbourhood. The party was at a home part of the Toronto Community Housing units that share the street with apartments and single family homes.
It’s not an area where politicians generally hang out other than when it’s time to get the votes. Robert said that was changed Tuesday with the Mayor, City Councillors, MPs and MPPs all coming out to comfort the community and to talk about clearing crime out of the neighbourhood.
Cairns questioned why it took Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford until the morning to appear at the scene. When the Eaton Centre shooting took place Ford was at the scene within two hours. The Danzig shooting involved 27 victims yet the Mayor didn’t show up at the scene until the morning.
The Code of Silence is strong in parts of the neighbourhood Cairns said but community leaders are working on changing that. The leaders within the neighbourhood have been very vocal about breaking that code so that the neighbourhood will be safe.
“When I have talked to people since the shooting I am hearing a lot who say the Code is in place but that has to change,” Cairns stressed, “Until the police have the right information they can not fix the problems that are going on in Toronto. The cops on the beat will say to me that there is a huge gang problem in Toronto but the official stance is that there’s not. We have to start telling the truth. Toronto has a gang problem and those gangs are generally based in Toronto Community Housing. This housing area for example has many expensive cars parked in the driveways. How? It’s not the people who are renting the units that own these cars, it’s the boyfriends who live there with their partners who are involved in drugs and gangs.”
Monday night Robert was with his partner walking their dog when the shooting took place. They left their apartment building, next to where the shooting occurred, at about 10:10 p.m. headed towards the park on Morningstar.
“We were out for about 10 minutes and saw a police car zooming past us, then another. Within a minute there were 13 cars racing towards the street,” Cairns recalled, “My partner and I looked at each other and said it’s either a shooting or a gang war at ‘that’ party.”
Robert said that the party had been going strong since early in the evening with noise being excessive after around 8:00 p.m. It wasn’t the first time that a loud party had taken place in the area.
“There’s been several parties at that location in the past four weeks,” Robert said, “And they have all been loud.”
Robert said that the one thing each of these parties had in common was a lack of involvement from Toronto Housing Security.
“The TCH security fell down. They should have shut this party and the others down earlier when the noise was getting out of hand. Where were they? I understand that the Toronto Police was also involved in noise complaints earlier in the evening. Why did they let the party continue when it was so loud?,” Cairns questioned today.
Cairns said today that he is afraid of what kind of violence the community could be facing in the weeks ahead if those involved are not captured by the police. With talk on the street saying that there will be retaliation coming he fears that the Summer of the Gun will be be the theme of 2012.
“Please if you know something that could help the police call them or Crime Stoppers. We want to be able to walk down the street and be safe,” Cairns said as the interview ended. “It’s not healthy for us in Toronto to be living with this kind of stress. We shouldn’t be worrying if we go out for a walk that we may not return because of a bullet being fired. This is just insane.”
*photos by Robert Cairns